Advancements in technology continue to grow year after year. The tech gear is getting more sophisticated and everyone is getting smarter. Smart cars, smart watches, and now… smart lights.
Smart lights are quickly growing in popularity in the modern home with simplicity, convenience, and control being the driving forces.
Smart lights begin with automation.
Taking control of the home environment and setting up technology that allows a relaxing and predictable atmosphere is the future. It’s the reason you choose Netflix over cable TV… and choose to follow the news you want through online media rather than broadcast stations.
What is a Smart Light Bulb?
A Smart Light Bulb is a light bulb that can be operated by using your tablet, smartphone, or smart home automation system. They offer lighting automation and allow for an optimal, efficient way to light your home.
Smart Light Bulbs look similar to regular light bulbs and they screw in just the same.
The difference is that inside your smart light bulb is a device that connects the lights to one another through the internet into a centralized operating unit (eg: your smartphone, a smart hub or a smart light switch). This way, the atmosphere and operation of your entire home lighting system is at your fingertips.
How Do Smart Light Bulbs Work?
Simplicity is the key with smart lighting.
With the emergence of smartphones over a decade ago, came an influx of apps and integrations to make your life easier. Your main sidekick with your smart light bulb is your phone. You can also use a tablet or home automation hub to control your smart lighting.
The best smart light bulbs communicate generally through wi-fi, but can also use Bluetooth, Z-Wae, or ZigBee to connect to your home automation system or an app.
Some smart light bulb brands require a specific means of communication to operate specific bulbs (Philips bulbs require a Phillips Hue Bridge – a special gateway that communicates to the bulbs).
Other smart light bulbs are versatile and can use multiple means of communication to more easily connect with the system or bulbs you’re already using.
Some people use smart home technology as a hub system such as Wink, Nest, or Google Home, Apple HomeKit, or Amazon Alexa to bring everything together in one place (with smart lighting being one piece of the puzzle).
This allows smart light bulbs to operate in sync with other devices in your home automation system throughout the day.
For instance, if someone rings your smart doorbell, you can automate your smart lighting to turn on throughout the house if they ring it after midnight (or whenever you see fit).
You can also set up timers to slowly turn your smart lights dark as it gets closer to the time you fall asleep, or slowly turn them on as it gets closer to the time you wake up to allow an easy transition into or out of bed.
Alongside that, specialized smart light strips can be used for bias lighting, which is lighting that goes behind your TV and makes the room glow the same color as what’s on the TV.
Why Should You Use Smart Light Bulbs?
…because Smart Light Bulbs give you control over your home lighting.
Smart lighting offers a variety of benefits to you as a homeowner:
- Control all lighting effects in your home from your phone, including indoor, outdoor and more specialized ranges, such as the Philips Hue Light Strip Plus kit.
- Adjust the lighting in your home from anywhere using an app on your smartphone (just imagine the funny tricks you could play on your partner when they’re home alone and you start clicking…)
- Program automated lighting times through a schedule that fits your needs (Eg: If you’re an early riser, time the lights so you don’t fall back asleep by accident)
- Buy fewer bulbs and save money (smart light bulbs cost more initially, but can last up to 20 years, which means saving yourself money and saving yourself several trips buying bulbs)
- Convenience (no more doing the run around every morning and every night to flip the dozens of switches on and off; if you forget to turn them off and you’re out, just click one button on your phone and voila!)
- Entertain guests or have an amazing family movie night (set the mood however you wish with smooth dimming and color ambiance with certain smart bulbs)
- Lower your electricity bill (Smart Light Bulbs use LED lights which use less energy; you can also optimize your lighting efficiency through a schedule to drastically reduce your monthly bills)
Final Tips With Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is a new technology concept for many homeowners, just as Netflix and voice-activated smart home systems were a few years ago.
WIth the simplicity of use and the control that smart light bulbs offer, you can finally live in your home with the atmosphere you want… and you can control it when you want from wherever you want.
Beyond the bells and whistles of smart light bulbs including multi-color ambiance functions, GPS enabled lighting (if you leave the home, the lights will turn off automatically), and other features… smart lighting is really about living a simpler, and higher quality life at the place you spend the majority of your time – your home.
The initial investment into smart light bulbs is well worth it with the ease of use, multi-functional control, and long term savings.
Once you make the investment into smart lighting, the cost going forward is minimal, and the time and money savings are endless.